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bike fit...what does it mean when..?(7 posts)

bike fit...what does it mean when..?gregario
Sep 4, 2002 7:20 AM
We recently got a new tandem and after measurements were taken I was assured that our new bike would be a good fit. Well, it's not. I have fairly severe pain at my right neck/shoulder junction and sore elbows and numb arms. What's the fix for these types of problems? longer reach? shorter reach? taller stem? lower stem? Bike fit is Voodoo!
re: bike fit...what does it mean when..?GMS
Sep 4, 2002 8:36 AM
It sounds like your arms are locked, or too straight. I had similar problems. Making the bars a minute amount closer to you may help more than you think. Or, bend your back more so your arms are not as straight. If this results in lower back pain, then you do have to move the bars closer.
re: bike fit...what does it mean when..?brider
Sep 4, 2002 9:46 AM
The fact that the pain is on one side may be something else. If you're a long-time tandem user, this may not apply, so take it with a grain of salt. We don't usually sit squarely on the bike. For me, I tend toward the right, my wife tends toward the left. What that means is that when we ride a tandem, we're basically fighting each other the whole way, each trying to lean the bike towards our natural tendency. This leads to a lot of one-sided pains. Could be that you're in a similar situation.
re: bike fit...what does it mean when..?gregario
Sep 4, 2002 10:44 AM
thanks. It IS a new tandem but we've been riding tandems for about 14 years now. She did notice however the other day when I said I was having problems that my right shoulder looked lower than my left. when we got back I forgot to check and see if the brake levers weren't set up evenly. I also e-mailed the builder and they told me they supplied the wrong stem, so that switch may help.
Although counterintuitive, upper body pain sometimes resultsbill
Sep 4, 2002 10:46 AM
from too short a cockpit. A little longer reach sometimes cures all those problems. You can try several things to lengthen the reach, including moving the saddle back or a longer stem or a lower bar. Any of these cures, of course, may create its own problems.
I haven't ridden a tandem, so I don't know about the issues of fighting your partner, but those thoughts makes a fair amount of sense to me in the abstract, if the fit is good.
Is the fit different from your other bikes? (n/t)timfire
Sep 4, 2002 12:44 PM
--Timothy Kleinert
Good point!Spoke Wrench
Sep 4, 2002 4:46 PM
Whenever I've sold a serious road bike, one of the questions I always ask is if you already have a road bike that you are delighted with the fit. When the answer is "yes" I just measure the existing bike and mimic that fit on the new one. I have two road bikes and a road tandem and the seats, cranks and handlebars on all three match up real closely.